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Friday, August 10, 2007

Nats rally to take Giants 3-1, split series OR Escaping by the bay

The Washington Nationals escaped from the madness that became Barry Bonds week in San Francisco by edging the Giants 3-1 Thursday afternoon. They split their series with the Giants 2-2, and came oh, so close, to taking it 3-1.

Starter Joel Hanrahan ("The Hammer", I call him), was the ringleader of this band of baseball-playing escape artists. He got himself into a couple of spots of trouble and managed to extricate himself from them. Hanrahan threw 54 strikes on 93 pitches (58%) allowing 1 run on 7 hits, walking 4 and striking out 2. At the plate he proved equally adept, going 1 for 2 with a double. If Joel Hanrahan has to be sent down to the minors when Shawn Hill returns off of the disabled list, it isn't going to be for lack of production and effort. He has proven himself to have what it takes to be successful in the majors, and I hope that the team finds a way to keep him aboard to finish the season in D.C. If not, he'll be guaranteed a shot at the starting rotation in spring training. If he is traded, it will be very, very painful.

The bullpen had a nice, busy day, with 5 relievers getting work in. Ray King, Saul Rivera, Luis Ayala, Jon Rauch and Chad Cordero allowed a total of 3 hits and no runs. As proven over and over again this season, especially since May 11th, the bullpen is magnificent, a daily credit to pitching coach Randy St. Clair and his staff.

Ryan Report: Church was 0 for 1 in a pinch-hitting role, Zimmerman was 1 for 4 with a walk, Langerhans was 0 for 2, Austin Ryan Kearns was 2 for 3 with a walk, and the newest member of the "R-Squad", Joel Ryan Hanrahan (you can look it up!) was 1 for 2 with a double.

The big hits came from Felipe Lopez (2 for 5 with 2 R.B.I.'s, and an 8th inning homer), Nook Logan (2 for 5), and Tony Batista (2 for 4).

I didn't get to see this game live, I was at work, but I did listen to it on the radio and follow it online. I watched my recording of it later, as usual. Nice to see them leave San Francisco on a high note, even if they didn't win the series. They showed the whole country that they are a team on the come, a club to be reckoned with. As a Nats fan, that's all that I could reasonable ask for.

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